Puyallup Tribal News

A crash course in adulthood

//Youth get a leg-up on responsible financial management at Junior Achievement

More than 50 tribal youth from Puyallup and Muckleshoot attended the financial literacy training camp offered at Junior Achievement in August. Participants are shown above viewing instructions on how to complete their final budget in the JA Finance Park. (Photo by Clare Jensen)

Budgets. Credit. Loans. Savings.

These are all words that the adult world juggles monthly, or even daily, as they manage their personal finances.

But this summer, about 50 Tribal youth spent two weeks learning the ins and outs of financial literacy now, so that they can be successful later.

“We get so much money later on; if we just blow it, it’s going to be a waste. If we keep it, hold on to it and budget it, it’s going to help us in the long run,” said 14-year-old Puyallup Tribal member Nancy McCloud.

Nancy is one of about a dozen members of Puyallup Tribe who attended Junior Achievement’s Finance Park summer camp last year, and returned this year to learn even more.

This year, Puyallup partnered with Muckleshoot to expose the real-life-relevant curriculum to even more local youth.

“The biggest thing we do is giving them practical knowledge that they can use in the real world,” said Cynthia Zimbelman, Finance Park manager. “They find out why it’s important to care, and how it’s directly related to their real life. (The Tribe) is a community that is close to my home and an important part of our state and economy.”

Throughout the two-week session, participants learned the ins and outs of managing their money, from creating a budget to learning the difference between debit and credit, and how to invest for their future.

At the end of the session, the youth all received a “life card,” which gave each participant a unique document with income stipulations, and family to support, and the kids’ budgeting skills were put to the test.

Councilmember David Bean noted that the training offered through Finance Park is something he wishes he would have had as a kid, and that even adults could still benefit from today.

“They’re learning how to budget. To learn at such a young age is getting a jump on many adults, even myself. Like Frank Wright said, ‘Where would we be today if we had this training when we were kids?’”

Nancy McCloud is one of several youth who opted to return to the second annual Tribal Finance Park session because she felt that there was still more to learn.

Ian Wrolson attended the session this year for the first time.

“I know I’m getting my 18 money and it would be nice to learn how to manage my money so that it’s there when I’m older. “

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